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[puh-blis-i-tee] /pʌˈblɪs ɪ ti/
extensive mention in the news media or by word of mouth or other means of communication.
public notice so gained.
the measures, process, or business of securing public notice.
information, articles, or advertisements issued to secure public notice or attention.
the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.
Origin of publicity
1785-95; < French publicité < Medieval Latin pūblicitās. See public, -ity
Related forms
nonpublicity, noun
overpublicity, noun
propublicity, adjective
superpublicity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for publicity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But their baseness lies in their privacy, not in their publicity.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • We do not pretend to conceal from you the fact that we are anxious to avoid all publicity, all scandal.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • You didn't see that when you left New York, and therefore you were afraid of publicity.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • Also obtained some publicity by expensive exploring in Canada and New Hampshire.

  • But I was terribly hampered by the publicity which attended my movements.

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for publicity


  1. the technique or process of attracting public attention to people, products, etc, as by the use of the mass media
  2. (as modifier): a publicity agent
public interest resulting from information supplied by such a technique or process
information used to draw public attention to people, products, etc
the state of being public
Word Origin
C18: via French from Medieval Latin pūblicitās; see public
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for publicity

1791, "condition of being public," from French publicité (1690s), from Medieval Latin publicitatem (nominative publicitas), from Latin publicus (see public (adj.)). Sense of "a making (something) known, an exposure to the public" is from 1826, shading by c.1900 into "advertising, business of promotion." Publicity stunt first recorded 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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